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The future of State Farm v. Campbell

One Supreme Court decision of foremost importance to tort reformers is State Farm v. Campbell, which placed constitutional limitations on punitive damages. (See discussion June 29, June 24, June 18, Sept. 22, Aug. 29, June 15 (2004)). Although O'Connor is not a "swing vote" for Campbell -- the Court ruled by a 6-3 majority -- she and Chief Justice Rehnquist were in the majority, while Justices Scalia and Thomas were in dissent. In other words, if President Bush makes good on his promise and nominates justices with strict originalist/textualist leanings like Scalia and Thomas, O'Connor's replacement could reduce the Campbell majority to 5 -- and place the holding in jeopardy if the Chief Justice were also to step down and be replaced by an originalist/textualist during Bush's tenure. Something pretty important to think about for the folks interested in civil justice reform who follow this blog...



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.